What kind of conditions are considered to be indications for bariatric surgery?

Medical conditions commonly seen with morbid obesity include sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  These medical conditions are expected to greatly improve after weight loss.  Other problems associated with obesity which may improve after weight loss are depression, arthritis or other musculoskeletal disorders, and psychosocial functioning.

What is a medically supervised diet?

A medically supervised diet is physician directed, with monthly visits to your doctor to review diet and exercise plans.  This diet program may also involve participation in a dietitian supervised weight loss group or individual nutrition appointments.

What will happen if I am eligible and wish to proceed with surgery?

Once you have been determined to be eligible for surgery and your surgery has been authorized by your insurance agency, you will be given a date for a preoperative history and physical exam. You will be given instructions for a clear liquid diet and bowel preparation for the day before surgery and instructions regarding your current medications.  You will also need to have labs drawn and be seen by anesthesia on the day of your pre-op exam.  Your surgery will usually be scheduled for the week after your pre-operative appointment.

How long does the surgery take?

Depending on the type of bariatric procedure chosen, the surgery process will take one to four hours.

How long will it take for me to recover?

With all bariatric procedures, you can expect to be in the hospital for two to three days. You will be encouraged to start walking or doing other light activities as soon as you go home from the hospital. You will be advised to avoid strenuous activity for six to eight weeks following surgery. These estimates are for patients who have not sustained any operative or post-operative complications.

Most patients will feel tired, less energetic, and sore for several weeks following bariatric surgery. These are major operative procedures, after which you will be following a very low calorie diet, losing weight, and healing your surgical wounds.

What can I expect in terms of weight loss?

Most patients experience fairly rapid weight loss in the first three to six months following surgery. Rate of weight loss then slows but generally continues for up to 12 to 18 months after surgery.  At that time, it is critical to adhere to the low fat, low sugar diet and exercise recommendations you will receive in order to maintain your weight loss long term.

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